World briefs – January 11

A NASA telescope has found the smallest planet outside our solar system and it is rocky just like Earth.

Smallest planet outside solar system too sizzling for life

WASHINGTON — A NASA telescope has found the smallest planet outside our solar system and it is rocky just like Earth.

But it is way too hot for any life. One side of the planet is about 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The planet is called Kepler 10-b after the telescope that found it.

NASA scientist Natalie Batalha (Bah-TAL’-ya) said the planet is about 1.4 times the size of Earth and has a mass about 4 1/2 times our planet’s. Astronomers have found other planets outside our solar system that are closer in mass to Earth, but none this small in width.

The reason it’s so hot is that it is 20 times closer to its star than Mercury is to our sun.

Toll from flash flooding in Queensland rises to eight dead, 72 missing

BRISBANE, Australia — Police say the number of people missing from flash flooding in Australia has risen to 72, with eight other people confirmed dead.

A torrent of water ripped through the Queensland city of Toowoomba and nearby towns on Monday, sweeping away cars and pedestrians and leaving dozens of other people clinging to rooftops.

The state has been deluged by heavy rains for weeks that have caused the worst flooding in decades, but officials say the sudden surge in Toowoomba came with little warning.

Queensland police said Tuesday the number of people missing from the deluge had risen to 72.

Passenger arrested for threatening to blow up plane with grenade

AMMAN, Jordan — A Jordanian airport official says police have arrested a Jordanian man for threatening to blow up the plane he was on with a hand grenade.

The man told a member of the cabin crew about his intentions to blow up the plane as it was preparing to take off from Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport late Monday.

The pilot turned the plane around and the man was arrested without a struggle, the official added.

He said bomb squads were searching the plane and that the man was being questioned.

Tunisia tries to contain deadly riots

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia says it is temporarily shutting down all of its high schools and universities as it tries to contain deadly riots over joblessness and poor prospects for youths.

The government says at least 14 people were killed in unrest this weekend.

Tunisia’s president went on television Monday and announced a plan to create 300,000 jobs over two years. President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali also blamed rioters for what he called “terrorist acts.”

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